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How The Cowboys Can Get Thru December


Dago
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http://www.star-telegram.com/332/story/1806969.html

First thing first.

Forfeit the New Orleans game. Just don’t go. And that would be an NFL first. But I’m only here to help our local football brain trust.

Back-tracking briefly ...

Being in denial solves nothing. So stop it, Wade, with this week’s ghost-buster philosophizing. You’re scared. You know you’re scared.

This fear is legitimate. The December demons are for real. Those demons own Valley Ranch. It’s been 12 seasons, man. Basically, 12 seasons of December poltergeist.

Only the Jones family has resided at Valley Ranch longer than the demons.

And now that this final month has arrived, and with the Dallas Cowboys facing the toughest stretch-run schedule in recent memory, it’s obvious that Jerry and his head coach could use some advice.

They aren’t asking. I’m just telling them everything else has failed for over a decade, and counting. See what I mean. You people need help.

This time, how can the Cowboys survive the December demons? Thanks for the question.

No. 1, be smart. Lighten the load. Reduce the five-game stretch run to four games.

Forget that Dec. 19 visit to New Orleans. Take off that weekend. Rest up. Send Tony Romo out to Vegas for charity work. Inform the commissioner you are giving up the L, and staying home.

When you’ve got no prayer, then don’t pray. The football gods have no answer for you, anyway. Did you see the Saints on Monday night against New England? Then you agree. No prayer.

Forfeit the New Orleans game, and notice what immediately happens.

For starters, the killer stretch run becomes less imposing.

Shrink it to four games, and the best team of the bunch, by far, is San Diego, and at least that’s a home game. The second-best team would be the Eagles in the early January finale. That’s also in Arlington.

The remaining two games are in the Meadowlands this week against a Giants club that is reeling, and then a post-Christmas visit to Washington. I’ve got nothing catty to say about the Redskins because we already know that those players have refused to quit despite everything.

But by not going to New Orleans, it’s a bye week boost going into Washington.

Gawd, I love my plan.

See, the Cowboys take the forfeit loss to the Saints, then concentrate on winning three of the remaining four games. That’d be 11 wins for the season, and then a first-round home game in the playoffs.

OK, the Saints could be lurking at some point in January, if there’s a very rare first-round survival by the Cowboys, but by then it’d be time for a new plan.

Another thing about the Saints:

This 11-0 run they are currently on, with an unbeaten regular season looming large, is actually a validation of everything the Cowboys are attempting to do on offense.

New Orleans was "Romo Friendly" long before Jerry came up with the concept.

It’s not about the precious No. 1 receiver in New Orleans. There isn’t one.

It’s not about some fool screaming if he’s not the focal point of the offense.

It’s about a quarterback distributing the passes to the open man, no matter the egos. It’s about a passing game that opens up a running game, with unheralded backs (Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell) alternating the carries.

If you just look at pure offensive yardage, along with the concept, the Cowboys and Saints are rather similar in how the run and pass yards are distributed, even in quantity.

Then, of course, nothing is similar when it comes to touchdowns. The Saints have scored almost twice as many.

OK, Tony Romo is not Drew Brees. And Jason Garrett is not Sean Payton. Wade Phillips is also probably not Gregg Williams when it comes to a defensive coordinator.

But when the Cowboys grow up, they obviously want to be the Saints of today.

And on offense, the Cowboys are Saints Lite, even if it wasn’t intentional, although I’d like to think someone at Valley Ranch was astute enough to make it intentional.

But back to the smart plan:

Forfeit the Dec. 19 visit to New Orleans. Concentrate on the other four stretch-run games.

And if Roger Goodell gives Jerry a bunch of grief over this?

Mr. Jones’ answer:

If our game in New Orleans is so important, why did you put it on the NFL Network, which reaches about 50 homes in America?

Side note to Jerry and Wade:

If you need any more words of wisdom on beating the demons of December, I can be reached at home. Thanks for listening.

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The Saints had trouble with Miami's defense. The Saints had trouble with Carloina's defense (The Saints D scored the last 7 points.). The Saints also had trouble with the Rams defense.

Scoring Defense

Miami - 26th, 25 pts a game

Carolina - 22nd, 23.3 pts a game

St. Louis - 30th, 27 pts a game

Dallas - 2nd, 16.5 pts a game

Say what you want about Wade, he knows how to run a defense.

Saints - 333.8 yards a game, 18.2 1st downs a game, 20.1 points a game, 26 sacks, 22 INTs, 12 FFs, 10 FRs

Cowboys - 327.6 yards a game, 18.4 1st downs a game, 16.5 points a game, 28 sacks, 7 INTs, 10 FFs, 6 FRs

Yeah, Greg Williams is worlds better than Wade. The only thing the Saints kill Dallas in defensively is INTs. Too bad Dallas still gives up less points even with all the turnovers New Orleans creates.

This article is obviously biased and has nothing to back up what its saying.

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The Saints had trouble with Miami's defense. The Saints had trouble with Carloina's defense (The Saints D scored the last 7 points.). The Saints also had trouble with the Rams defense.

Scoring Defense

Miami - 26th, 25 pts a game

Carolina - 22nd, 23.3 pts a game

St. Louis - 30th, 27 pts a game

Dallas - 2nd, 16.5 pts a game

Say what you want about Wade, he knows how to run a defense.

Saints - 333.8 yards a game, 18.2 1st downs a game, 20.1 points a game, 26 sacks, 22 INTs, 12 FFs, 10 FRs

Cowboys - 327.6 yards a game, 18.4 1st downs a game, 16.5 points a game, 28 sacks, 7 INTs, 10 FFs, 6 FRs

Yeah, Greg Williams is worlds better than Wade. The only thing the Saints kill Dallas in defensively is INTs. Too bad Dallas still gives up less points even with all the turnovers New Orleans creates.

This article is obviously biased and has nothing to back up what its saying.

yes, because the Star-Telegram newspaper out of FORT WORTH, TEXAS would be completely biased for the Saints :rolleyes:

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by the way...let's take a look at that great defensive scoring statistic and put it in perspective

TB: 28th ranked offense in scoring

NYG: 8th (T)

Car: 23rd

Denver: 24th

KC: 26th

Atl: 8th (T)

Seattle: 20th

Philly: 7th

GB: 6th

Washington: 29th

Oakland: 32nd

so that defense has only faced 4 teams that arent ranked 20th or lower in defensive scoring. Furthermore, they lost two of those games.

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as long as I am adding some perspective to these statistics, lets bring the Saints defense into it

Det: 25th

Philly: 7th

Buffalo: 27th

NYJ: 18th

NYG: 8th

Miami: 13th

Atl: 8th

Car: 23rd

STL: 30th

TB: 28th

NE: 4th

overall, the Saints have faced tougher offenses and give up 3.6 points more per game

sorry if I do not see a lot of difference

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Are you saying your better than the cowgirls? If so then I agree!

well we are comparing defenses and I don't know if we are truly better than theirs but I think that the evidence shows that they are closer than Enlightened would have us believe. What we really need to see is a breakdown of points given up per drive as I believe that the Saints opponents get more possessions than the Cowboys opponents. Problem is that I haven't been able to find that stat which is odd because I think that would be a more telling statistic than total points given up per game if you are trying to determine the quality of a defense

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I think redzone defensive points and total points are the two most important factors in an overall defenses ratings...

a team can have a good redzone defense and still be in the lower part of the league in scoring defense so I disagree. Atlanta has a good redzone defense but is ranked 19th overall in scoring defense. Total scoring defense ignores the disadvantage that the defense of a team either a poor offense or quick striking offense faces as compared to one that has a strong running game and controls the clock. IMO points given up per drive does the most to take out variables.

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well we are comparing defenses and I don't know if we are truly better than theirs but I think that the evidence shows that they are closer than Enlightened would have us believe. What we really need to see is a breakdown of points given up per drive as I believe that the Saints opponents get more possessions than the Cowboys opponents. Problem is that I haven't been able to find that stat which is odd because I think that would be a more telling statistic than total points given up per game if you are trying to determine the quality of a defense

Actually Dago, I was proving the opposite. This article you posted makes Greg Williams sound like Wade Phillips isnt in his league. I beg to differ. These two defenses are VERY similar. The only difference in the two teams is the offense. Not that ours isnt up to par with yours, it just depends on which oline and which Jason Garrett shows up.

Saints opponents - 90.9 plays per game

Cowboys opponents - 87.7 plays per game

Again, very similar. The Saints opponents only average one more drive than the Cowboys.

Edited by Enlightened29
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Go to NFL.com, go look at every game the teams have played. It has total passing and total rushing plays run for each team. Then, add them up and average it. Trust me, its right.

I don't trust Cowboy fans.

Besides, 90+ plays a game for each team is too high. I've never seen a team throw 50 passes in the same game that they run the ball 40 times. You must be adding up one of them twice.

This link has total scrimmage plays. Saints are at 718 over 11 games (65.3 per game) while the Cowboys are at 694 (63.1)

http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?season=2009&seasonType=REG&defensiveStatisticCategory=GAME_STATS&d-447263-o=2&conference=ALL&tabSeq=2&role=OPP&d-447263-p=1&d-447263-s=SCRIMMAGE_PLAYS&d-447263-n=1

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The Saints had trouble with Miami's defense. The Saints had trouble with Carloina's defense (The Saints D scored the last 7 points.). The Saints also had trouble with the Rams defense.

Scoring Defense

Miami - 26th, 25 pts a game

Carolina - 22nd, 23.3 pts a game

St. Louis - 30th, 27 pts a game

Dallas - 2nd, 16.5 pts a game

Say what you want about Wade, he knows how to run a defense.

Saints - 333.8 yards a game, 18.2 1st downs a game, 20.1 points a game, 26 sacks, 22 INTs, 12 FFs, 10 FRs

Cowboys - 327.6 yards a game, 18.4 1st downs a game, 16.5 points a game, 28 sacks, 7 INTs, 10 FFs, 6 FRs

Yeah, Greg Williams is worlds better than Wade. The only thing the Saints kill Dallas in defensively is INTs. Too bad Dallas still gives up less points even with all the turnovers New Orleans creates.

This article is obviously biased and has nothing to back up what its saying.

Um, you left out the most important stat (I can't imagine why)

Points scored per game....... Cowpies..23.2 Saints..37

When the Saints "have trouble", they score under 30.....But more than the Dallas average. -_-

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Um, you left out the most important stat (I can't imagine why)

Points scored per game....... Cowpies..23.2 Saints..37

When the Saints "have trouble", they score under 30.....But more than the Dallas average. -_-

Enlightened, your are a first class clown and I'm laughing at you all night....

What a joke your team is...... seriously....think about it. What O stats are you even close to the Saints? NONE....... Your D is on par with ours with the expection on the TO's.... we all know who's first in that...don't we..... Your are a joke... The Cowgirls will get assraped by the Saints...especially at home....

COME ON MAN............

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Um, you left out the most important stat (I can't imagine why)

Points scored per game....... Cowpies..23.2 Saints..37

When the Saints "have trouble", they score under 30.....But more than the Dallas average. -_-

The Saints have yet to score below the Dallas average...think about that.....

Focus on the G=men,,, you need all the help you can get....

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The Saints have yet to score below the Dallas average...think about that.....

Focus on the G=men,,, you need all the help you can get....

Some of you are taking the December thing WAY too seriously. After going 5-0 the Giants are 1-5. So I guess their struggles just end, they put everything together, and the Cowboys fall apart. All because its December. Give me a break.

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I don't trust Cowboy fans.

Besides, 90+ plays a game for each team is too high. I've never seen a team throw 50 passes in the same game that they run the ball 40 times. You must be adding up one of them twice.

This link has total scrimmage plays. Saints are at 718 over 11 games (65.3 per game) while the Cowboys are at 694 (63.1)

http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?season=2009&seasonType=REG&defensiveStatisticCategory=GAME_STATS&d-447263-o=2&conference=ALL&tabSeq=2&role=OPP&d-447263-p=1&d-447263-s=SCRIMMAGE_PLAYS&d-447263-n=1

The average I put up was for their OPPONENTS.

New Orleans vs Detroit - Detroits passing plays 58 rushing plays 20 Total 78

New Orleans vs Eagles - Eagles passing plays 65 rushing play 29 Total 94

New Orleans vs Bills - Bills passing plays 61 rushing plays 21 Total 82

New Orleans vs Jets - Jets passing plays 58 rushing plays 27 Total 85

New Orleans vs Giants - Giants passing plays 57 rushing plays 19 Total 76

New Orleans vs Dolphins - Dolphins passing plays 70 rushing plays 27 Total 97

New Orleans vs Falcons - Falcons passing plays 69 rushing plays 24 Total 93

New Orleans vs Carolina - Carolina passing plays 71 rushing plays 39 Total 110

New Orleans vs St Louis - St Louis passing plays 71 rushing plays 29 Total 100

New Orleans vs Tampa Bay - Tampa Bay passing plays 59 rushing plays 23 Total 82

New Orleans vs New England - New England passing plays 70 rushing plays 28 Total 98

Edited by Enlightened29
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Go to NFL.com, go look at every game the teams have played. It has total passing and total rushing plays run for each team. Then, add them up and average it. Trust me, its right.

ok...I used the drive charts on each game to total up the number of drives for each team.

Dallas gives up 1.40 points per drive

Atlanta gives up 2.02 points per drive

New Orleans gives up 1.60 points per drive

the one variable that this doesn't account for is turnovers that put a defense in a severe hole or turnovers that led directly to scores (pick 6s or fumble returns). I would wager that the Saints have had their defense put in a hole more often as we have had more turnovers so we can see that the difference in points given up by the Cowboys and Saints is negligible at best. Now I said that I thought the defenses were close but when you add in the fact that the Saints defense has forced 16 more takeaways (29 to 13) than I think it is actually clear that the Saints have a better defense.

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Um, you left out the most important stat (I can't imagine why)

Points scored per game....... Cowpies..23.2 Saints..37

When the Saints "have trouble", they score under 30.....But more than the Dallas average. -_-

We'll see how many points you score on the highest ranked scoring defense youve played all year. We allow fewer points than any team youve faced all year. Hence my bringing up our defense. Now, if (and thats a big IF I know) we kept your scoring to our average, and we scored your defense's average, Dallas wins. Thats why I was talking defense, because the way I see it, we allow less points, and thats what matters.

Edited by Enlightened29
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ok...I used the drive charts on each game to total up the number of drives for each team.

Dallas gives up 1.40 points per drive

Atlanta gives up 2.02 points per drive

New Orleans gives up 1.60 points per drive

the one variable that this doesn't account for is turnovers that put a defense in a severe hole or turnovers that led directly to scores (pick 6s or fumble returns). I would wager that the Saints have had their defense put in a hole more often as we have had more turnovers so we can see that the difference in points given up by the Cowboys and Saints is negligible at best. Now I said that I thought the defenses were close but when you add in the fact that the Saints defense has forced 16 more takeaways (29 to 13) than I think it is actually clear that the Saints have a better defense.

Ummmmm, Dago, I beg to differ. You have WAY more takeaways than Dallas. Meaning your defense got off the field. Yet, YOU STILL ALLOW MORE POINTS THAN DALLAS DOES. How is that possible with your takeaways. Is your defense basically "we get a turnover or you score"? How is it possible to allow 20 points a game at the rate you make turnovers? Id give the edge to Dallas since they force more punts, obviously, than the Saints do.

Edited by Enlightened29
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Until Romosexual shows us different how are we supposed to act? Someone in my pro pickem' league has that screen name En29, I thought it was funny...no harm meant?

Show me a game in December where Romo "melted down" that the offensive line played their best football. Im so tired of Romo getting the blame for his teams shi tty play.

All in all, if you think that a team coming in 5-1 in its last 6 games against a team that is 1-5 in its last 6, and they will lose based on the month then you need to wake up. This isnt a fairytale. Dallas isnt going to lose their talent and I dont see New York snapping out of their funk just because its December.

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When Dallas is on their game I'd give them the edge but EN29, your boys are inconsistent to say the least? Then again the saints run defense has been inconsistant of late as well!

Well, when Dallas plays its best football they can beat anyone. The problem is, and everyone knows it, they dont play at that level consistently.

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Ummmmm, Dago, I beg to differ. You have WAY more takeaways than Dallas. Meaning your defense got off the field. Yet, YOU STILL ALLOW MORE POINT THAN DALLAS DOES. How is that possible with your takeaways. Is your defense basically "we get a turnover or you score"? How is it possible to allow 20 points a game at the rate you make turnovers? Id give the edge to Dallas since they force more punts, obviously, than the Saints do.

that may be the most ridiculous line of reasoning I have ever heard.

I think everyone can agree that forcing a punt and forcing a turnover both end the other team's drive, right? so when breaking it down to pure number of stops (turnovers or punts) then it is completely IRRELEVANT how a drive was stopped...just that it was stopped.

Now, since I have popped that little bubble let me ask this:

How would you rather stop the other team's drive....with a punt or a turnover?

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